Beau Allen has been waiting for this day since April. After spending nearly five months on the non-football injury list with a pectoral tear, the Eagles' defensive tackle passed his physical Friday and returned to practice Sunday.
If all goes well over the next several days of practice, Allen should play in Thursday night’s final preseason game against the Jets at Metlife Stadium in the Meadowlands.
On the sidelines, Allen has been keeping busy. While he wants to take one practice at a time, he’s confident he’ll be prepared for action.
“I’ve been working with our D-line staff a lot, doing a lot of work, lot of cardio," he said, "so I think I’ll be ready."
Where exactly Allen will fit into the defensive line rotation is still a mystery. Given that second-year tackle Destiny Vaeao has played well in Allen’s absence, it might take some time for Allen to prove to the Eagles' coaching staff he is indeed fully healthy and deserves extra snaps. Regardless, Doug Pederson likes the look of a defensive tackle group that will feature Allen, Vaeao, Fletcher Cox, and Tim Jernigan.
“I feel great [about our depth] with the addition of Beau,” Pederson said. “I’m excited to watch him practice over the next few days. He hasn’t done anything physically for a while, and I want to take it slow with him. But I hope to get him some time Thursday night.”
When asked about where he thinks he fits among the defensive tackles, Allen was unconcerned.
“I’m just excited to be back on the practice field and back in the rotation,” he said. “We’ll kind of address all of that later; I’m not really worried about that.”
Instead, Allen is more worried about getting back on the field and playing in Week 1 on Sept. 10 in Washington, a goal that he feels is realistic. While he enjoys the company of his teammates, he obviously prefers playing football with them compared to film study and rehab.
“It’s been a little frustrating,” Allen said. “It’s always tough when you’re injured and kind of on the outside looking in, but it’s been good. We have a great D-Line room, a lot of good rookies, young talent, and I’m really excited to be back with the boys and be a part of that group.”